Nursi Conference 2011
The Bediuzzaman Said Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies at John Carroll University is pleased to invite you for the Fall 2011 conference on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of Bediuzzaman Said Nursis (1876-1960) Damascus sermon.
The Major Theme of the conference is: Challenges to Contemporary Islam: The Muslim World 100 years After Nursis Damascus sermon
The Date of Conference: October 23-25th, 2011
Extended Deadline for Abstract based on requests from participants: Monday, June 13, 2011
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi is one of the most influential personalities in the modern history of Turkey. Born in 1876, Nursi lived in a time of substantial socio-political change, including the era of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, Mesrutiyet (Constitutionalism). He gave his famous sermon translated as Damascus Sermon in October of 1911. In 1950, Nursi reviewed the sermon and he himself translated into Turkish with some new additions. As you will realize, Nursi elaborates on the diseases of the Islamic world and presents remedies in his sermon. In the late period of the Ottoman Empire, he was appointed as a member of Dar al-Hikmah al-Islamiyyah, the highest religious institution in the state. After the establishment of modern Turkey, he was incarcerated without conviction for over 30 years. In 1960 when he died, the New York Times estimated his followers to be approximately one million. Therefore, Nursi is a controversial, but highly influential personality in the Turkish world today.
This conference aims at shedding light on Nursis views of the problems of the Islamic world and assessments of his remedies from an academic perspective, especially in light of his Damascus sermon. This will be the second nationwide conference on Nursi and his philosophy at John Carroll University. The topic cuts across various disciplines, including political science, religious studies, Turkish Studies, sociology, as well as modern history.
The conference is expected to be a two day conference based on the number of papers. The program of the conference will be sent later. A humble honorarium in the amount of $500 is intended to cover the authors miscellaneous expenses. If the paper is accepted for publication in an edited volume there will be another $500 for each author.
The following list is given in order to indicate the expectations of the organizing committee, but topics are not necessarily limited to this list.
Possible areas to be discussed, but not limited to, are the following:
- The future of Muslim Christian relations in light of Nursis Damascus sermon
- The problem of hopelessness and Muslim psychology
- The lack of honesty as a source of the decline of the Muslim Civilization
- Dictatorship and its varieties in the Muslim world as a source of problems
- Nursi and freedom (his famous statement: I can live without bread, but I cannot live without freedom.
- The problem of Divisiveness among Muslims
- Reasons for the spread of animosity among Muslims
- Animosity as a source of decline in the Muslim world
- Nationalism as a problem of the Muslim world
- Reason and blind faith in the light of Nursis perspectives
- The spread of science and civilization as a source of hope of humanity
- The decline of the dictatorship of clerics
- Immorality as an obstacle to the development of the Islamic world
- Reevaluation and interpretation of Muslim texts in light of modern day technology
- The openness of western scholarship as a source of hope in Nursis understanding
- Islam and material progress
- Islam and contemporary civilization
- A psychological evaluation of the relationship between belief and strength
- The relationship between faith and material progress
- Nursis understanding of replacing material weapons with immaterial moral swords of truth and justice
- Non-violence and persuasion as a method of struggle
- Islam and love in the light of Nursis Damascus Sermon
- Islam and Democracy in light of Nursis understanding of consultation
- Nursi and the realm of nature
- Nursi and Morality (In Damascus sermon he mentions that one of the biggest diseases of the Muslim world is the absence of truthfulness. When they ask what we need the most, he says truth.
And then they say what the next is, and he says not to lie.)
I would appreciate if you could let me know whether you will be able to participate in this conference or not . I know some of you have already expressed your willingness to participate but as a final confirmation please send again. All of your travel expenses and accommodations will be reimbursed by JCU.
Please contact Dr. Saritoprak for further information.
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org